Originally Posted by Diane B
Hello. My daughter has been visiting a "feeling doctor" (i.e. therapist) for some help with issues related to attachment and adoption. Yesterday, the therapist recommended to us that our daughter be encouraged to express her anger by hitting a pillow and kicking. Any teachings that have been particularly helpful?
Hi Diane B,
don't know if you remember me, I am a student at Zen Mountain Monastery, in NY, and also mommy to Lulu (four) and now Gingy (aged 2).
I'll give you my quick (late at night, I should be in bed) answer and try to reflect on it more.
I think with anger we ask that Lulu refrain from hitting and yelling. We try to sit down with her and let her tell us "all about it" but to not use screaming as part of that. I tell her I can't help her if my ears are hurting.
So our main way is to really sit down and discuss something and reflect the feelings / thoughts back to her. Be a witness essentially, while drawing a limit around hitting/screaming.
I actively do want to hear why she's angry, I'm curious about it, really. And I think that that gets conveyed and she feels heard. Most of the time that works.
Oh, and, have you noticed... ninety percent of kids' problems can be solved by gently picking them up and holding them up close to your heart???
But I have sometimes wondered if, by not accepting loud screaming as part of anger, that I am shutting her down... but still.... no, I'd have to say that personally, I wouldn't be into a therapy at this age, where self-control is being created, they would be encouraged to make a lot of pathways to shouting and hitting. Perhaps it's OK with adults, who are suffused with too much self0control, but with a child??
BUT, this is all theoretical, and I would say you'd have to see what works well for your family and for your daughter.
I'll try to give some more thought on it.